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Thread: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #38

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Blues, Stomps, & Rags #38

    I first came across the mandolin blues of Jim Richter (b. 1968) on a Yank Rachel tribute album. Richter is originally from Lawrenceburg, Indiana. He started his first instrument, a harmony uke, in 1974. As a teenager, he learned classical guitar and five-string banjo. He took up mandolin in 1985, but says that he "did not take [mandolin] seriously for another 15 years." While in university in Indiana, he belonged to bluegrass and rock bands. After graduating, Richter played in blues and rock bands, then returned to university to become a recording engineer. In 1999, after a couple of recording projects, he moved to Austin, Texas where he returned to playing banjo. He next moved to Indianapolis. In 2002, where he "returned to playing mandolin, this time taking [it] seriously as [my] primary instrument," and started the Gordon Bonham/Jim Richter acoustic blues duo. Since then, he returned to Bloomington, where he has worked as a concert promoter, producer, and website designer, all the time working as a musician, while taking the time to teach at mandolin camps and to produce a Richter Mandolin ebook on iTunes. In 2013, Richter graduated with a Masters in Counselling, and began PhD studies in Counselling Psychology, while continuing to be active musically. (information from Jim Richter's website.)

    Jim Richter is an impressive bluesman, who has released a number of albums: In-Tuition: Mandopoly, In-Tuition: Blues, Breezy Day, Summer's Gone, The Road Home, and Metamorphosis. He's made available two freeMP3's at Mandolin Cafe, with links to purchase other music: [url]htttps://[url]. He also has on-line blues lessons available at [url][url].

    Here's Jim Richter doing a solo blues tune. (If these videos look fuzzy, don't make an eye appointment.) If the links don't work, search YouTube for "Route 69 -- Blues Mandolin/ Jim Richter".

    And here, he does a old good blues tune with his partner, Gordon Bonham. If the links don't work, search YouTube for "Brownsville Blues -- Gordon Bonham and Jim Richter".

    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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